Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Impulsive decisions are sometimes the best ones – as long as they’re not to do with spending ill-afforded sums of money, I suppose.

As anybody who’s been listening to UK news reports (or reading anything to do with the UK online) will know, parts of the country have been having more snow than anyone has seen in the last 20 years. Schools have closed, roads have blocked, traffic has stopped and even grit for the roads has been run out of.

Most of Shropshire too has been affected by most of this chaos – bar the heavy snowfall/blizzards/Arctic conditions and lack of grit, that is. Shrewsbury, as always, has been completely unaffected by snow. Oh, there was some snow on a couple of days, but the precipitation has been mostly in the form of rain or, sometimes, sleet. It’s difficult to panic about blizzards when it’s bright and sunny outside, but the local weathermen, newsreaders, school authorities etc did their level best to do the headless chicken, in line with their counterparts in those areas of the country that actually were affected by heavy snowfall.

Yesterday, though, the weather forecasts promised that Shropshire – and even Shrewsbury – would see 6 inches of snowfall accumulate overnight, starting at 10 pm. (To people who get 6” snow in 6 minutes, let me say that it is still inappropriate to mock at the excitement over this prediction. Thus far, it’s been difficult to build up 6 inches around here even after scraping the snow off every available surface - cars, lawns, kerbside, and so on - and stacking it up.)

Anyway: 10pm arrived, and there wasn’t a flake to be seen – that is, except for the flake who is my husband, whose faith in the forecast stayed unshaken.

Plenty of rain, though.

11pm - More rain.

12am – Yet more rain.

Half-joking, I suggested to Pete that the only way he was going to see snow was to look for it elsewhere. He took me at my word (Pete: “There HAS to be snow in Shropshire. The weatherman can't have been wrong!”. Me: Prolonged eye roll) and five minutes later we were zooming off in the Range Rover like a modern, modified English version of Don Quixote and his Indian Sancho Panza, in search of snow.

I bet the original Sancho Panza didn’t try to keep his Don Quixote amused with puns, though – “Snow good, Pete, just admit the weather guy was wrong”, “Maybe it’s all falling in snow man’s land”, "Oh well, it's a sno-show" and so on. Oh, how he laughed.

Three miles out of Shrewsbury, however, the rain had turned into sleet. Another 5 miles, and it was actual snow. Three more miles on, and we were nearly in Church Stretton, the very beautiful, very expensive, very exclusive heart of South Shropshire, being blinded by a flurry of fat snowflakes. It was actually snowing hard, as per the weatherman’s prediction. Church Stretton looked magical, its expensive houses with their expensive hedges and expensive long drives all shrouded in fresh snow, giving the impression of a posh Christmas picture postcard. We drove around slowly for a bit, enjoying the white stuff, until we discovered that we were heading for the hills. Snowy, slippery, unlit, twisty and treacherous hill roads didn’t seem like the cleverest option in the dead of night, so we headed back towards Shrewsbury.

Three miles out of Church Stretton, the blizzard thinned out.

Five miles further on, the snow turned back into sleet.

And as we drove into Shrewsbury, it was raining, as per usual.

Question: Why, when the Eskimos have a thousand (or a million, or even a hundred) words for snow, which is probably the only weather they know, do the English not have a thousand words to describe rain?


ra said...

ha! ha! It snowed and snowed in London last week. Winter wonderland, that trapped us all inside/

rads said...

LOL! Look at you English driving around looking for snow. :p

The first snowfall's the most beautiful, pristine and welcoming :)

Teesu (very very Indian, very very good) said...

Just enjoy the snow wherever you find it, you lucky thing!I love snow.But not ice.Brrrr.

Anu said...

Probably because it never rains but pours???

Kamini said...

That was so nice of Pete. And to laugh at your puns too!!
Even though I LOATHE the winter, I still get all excited when it snows.The sight of a place shrouded in freshly fallen snow is magically beautiful. Sadly, in New York, everything turns to a filthy gray-black slush a short while later.

Anonymous said...

any pics ??? maya